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Lump or Split: Lawmakers, Scientists Wrestle With PFAS Chemicals (2)

July 17, 2019, 10:01 AM; Updated: July 17, 2019, 7:31 PM

How quickly the government can regulate contaminating nonstick chemicals will come down to whether lawmakers and regulators consider the chemicals individually, in small groups, or as a single group.

The chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, number in the hundreds or thousands, depending on who is counting and what methodology is used.

The decision to lump these emerging contaminants together—or split them into smaller groups of related compounds—has set off a debate between communities dealing with contamination against the chemical industry.

Communities want the chemicals to be addressed together, while industry says that approach is scientifically inaccurate and unfeasible....

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